OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 1:46 PM – Saturday, April 1, 2023
A Minnesota judge has sided with the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and struck down the ban which prohibit those under 21 years of age from obtaining gun permits.
Three individuals had challenged the 2003 law which had enacted an age requirement to be eligible to receive a permit to carry a pistol. They argued that the law was unconstitutional and prevented those under 21 years of age from exercising their Second Amendment rights.
The lawsuit stated that the plaintiffs who are between the ages of 18 and 20, “wish to carry pistols for self-defense, but don’t because they do not want to be subject to arrest or prosecution for violating the permitting requirement.”
United States District Court Judge Katherine Menendez declared that the age limit violated the rights of 18 to 20-year-olds. In her 50-page-ruling she concluded that Minnesota’s law was unconstitutional and blocked it while relying on the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen.
The judge said that her ruling was supported by the new legal test which was established by the supreme court in the Bruen case to evaluate laws regulating firearm possession.
The Supreme Court had held that the government must prove that a firearm law “is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation” for it to be constitutional.
“Based on a careful review of the record, the court finds that defendants have failed to identify analogous regulations that show a historical tradition in America of depriving 18- to 20-year-olds the right to publicly carry a handgun for self-defense,” Menendez wrote. “As a result, the age requirement prohibiting persons between the ages of 18 and 20 from obtaining such a permit to carry violates the Second Amendment.”
Menendez’s ruling now enables those between the ages of 18 and 20 to be able to obtain a license to publicly carry a firearm in the state of Minnesota.
“Given the relative dearth of firearms regulation from the most relevant period where that lens is aimed, the endeavor of applying Bruen seems likely to lead, generally, to more guns in the hands of more people, not just young adults,” Menendez noted. “Some Minnesotans are surely fine with that result. Others may wonder what public safety measures are left to be achieved through the political process where guns are concerned. But Bruen makes it clear that today’s policy considerations play no role in an analytical framework that begins and ends more than 200 years ago.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison field an emergency motion for a stay immediately following the ruling. Ellison wanted to give the state an opportunity to file an appeal of the court’s decision, or to have a “stay for 60 days to allow for its orderly implementation.”
Ellison claimed that if the ruling was overturned then “there would be innumerable young people with guns, whose permits were no longer valid.”
Menendez’s ruling comes amidst Governor Tim Walz’s (D-Minn.) push for new gun control measures in Minnesota this year.
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